VertiGo was a thrill ride located at Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm. Both the rides opened in 2001 and both were designed by S&S Worldwide. After an incident at Cedar Point, both rides were demolished for the 2002 season.
The ride structure consisted of three 265-foot-tall towers (81 m) placed in a triangular arrangement. Several high-strength cables ran down from the top of the tower and attached to the ride vehicle, which would sit on the ground when not operating. The three towers were able to sway up to 8 feet (2.4 m) in high winds, or when the cables were stretched during ride operation.
Riders of VertiGo would first be strapped into a triangular car. Two people could sit on each side of the triangle, letting six people to ride at one time. The restraints were designed to make you feel very insecure, and had few places to hold on. The car would rise a few feet off the ground, and then pneumatic air pressure would rocket the riders up at 50 miles/hour, over the three 265-foot-tall towers, almost 300 feet (91 m) in the air. There were three different ways to experience VertiGo
Hot Rocket - where riders remain in the upright position throughout the entire ride;
Cosmic Flip - where guests begin in the upright position, then as the ride reaches its climax, the seats will rotate forward 150 degrees to provide a "nose-dive" sensation as the ride vehicle descends toward the ground;
Big Bang - where shortly after launch, riders are flipped forward 150 degrees and travel through the apex and a majority of the return to the ground in the upside-down position.
During the descent, depending on which seat rotation mode you chose, the seats would rotate, causing the riders to face the ground until the ride reached the bottom, and went back up again. On this descent, the riders would be turned completely upside-down. All riders paid a fee of $10 to ride, and reservations were recommended.
As a part of Cedar Point's preventative maintenance program, the VertiGo vehicle was removed from the ride and stored. However, the vehicle was an important stabilizer of the towers. Due to the loss of stability, the towers were allowed to sway beyond the 8 feet (2.4 m) limits normally allowed. On January 14, 2002, one of the 265-foot-tall towers collapsed, approximately 60 feet (18 m) above the ground. The tower caused minimal damage, and nobody was injured. The ride was not operating at the time, as Cedar Point is closed in the winter.
Soon after the incident, Cedar Fair announced that the attraction at both parks would be demolished, because the ride was likely to face popularity issues after the incident. However, some models of the ride continued to exist elsewhere. A model of the ride known as "Eruption" existed at Frontier City until closing in 2012: it was demolished in 2014. A similar ride also remained open at Six Flags Magic Mountain.